NGCP in­ten­si­fies con­struc­tion of trans­mis­sion projects

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - BUSINESS -

The Na­tional Grid Cor­po­ra­tion of the Philip­pines (NGCP) in­ten­si­fied the con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties of all vi­tal trans­mis­sion projects af­fected by the coro­n­avirus lock­down.

NGCP is ea­ger to fin­ish its crit­i­cal projects as close to the orig­i­nal time­lines as pos­si­ble.

The power grid op­er­a­tor on Tues­day said grid man­age­ment and crit­i­cal main­te­nance ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing var­i­ous op­er­a­tions that were crit­i­cal to the pro­vi­sion of power, con­tin­ued de­spite strict lock­downs.

“We started the re­sump­tion of crit­i­cal projects as early as May. Prepa­ra­tions for this re­sump­tion be­gan weeks be­fore that. Com­pli­ance with IATF and LGU-spe­cific guide­lines needed to be in place be­fore we could ramp up our project ac­tiv­i­ties.

Among the most chal­leng­ing com­pli­ances were the RT-PCR COVID test­ing of our crit­i­cal project per­son­nel, and se­cur­ing the COVID test re­sults of our con­trac­tors, as well as fa­cil­i­tat­ing the per­mits to en­ter of key per­son­nel to and from hot­bed ar­eas,” NGCP said in a state­ment.

NGCP said it con­tin­ues to en­counter is­sues in­clud­ing test­ing and quar­an­tine vari­a­tions among lo­cal gov­ern­ment units, con­trac­tor and sup­plier de­liv­ery prob­lems, the in­abil­ity of for­eign ex­perts to con­duct nec­es­sary in­spec­tions due to travel clear­ance re­quire­ments, the slow­down of man­u­fac­tur­ing of equip­ment and ma­te­ri­als from other COVID-19 af­fected coun­tries and other lim­i­ta­tions.

The stag­gered re­lax­ation of quar­an­tine reg­u­la­tions, even those re­lated to es­sen­tial in­dus­tries and con­struc­tion, has ham­pered NGCP to fully “re­turn to work” for its con­struc­tion projects.

Con­struc­tion works also stopped due to health and safety pro­to­cols, and new nor­mal stan­dards such as COVID-19 test­ing of all man­power, ac­cess to trans­port and mo­bil­ity is­sues and gov­ern­ment-man­dated man­power lim­i­ta­tions.

NGCP is con­tin­u­ously as­sess­ing the im­pact of the global health cri­sis on trans­mis­sion projects, par­tic­u­larly to the Min­danao-Visayas Interconne­ction Project, West­ern Lu­zon Back­bone project, and San Jose-Que­zon 230kilo­Volt (kV) Line 3 project.

“NGCP is ea­ger to fin­ish its crit­i­cal projects as close to the orig­i­nal time­lines as pos­si­ble. We are also fully cog­nizant of the need to re­strict move­ment and ac­tiv­i­ties to help stem the spread of the virus,” NGCP said.

“Project sched­ules are con­tin­u­ally re­assessed as vary­ing de­grees of com­mu­nity quar­an­tine re­main in ef­fect. The time lost is not a sim­ple 1 is to 1 con­ver­sion.

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